Coming to theatres today, Wednesday, November 6: THE STONE ROSES: MADE OF STONE
Shane Meadows’ tribute to the influential Mancunian band made its debut this past May in Manchester. In addition to a very successful theatrical release in the UK and Ireland, the doc has screened at fests in Sydney, Karlovy Vary, Athens, and Tokyo, among others. It now opens across the US and in select Canadian cities for one or two evening events.
The band, whose self-entitled first album led to immediate success in 1989, found worldwide success, with a legion of fans including acclaimed filmmaker Meadows (TWENTY FOUR SEVEN, THIS IS ENGLAND), making his documentary debut here. After the band became embroiled in a contract dispute which delayed their second album, they found their fortunes turn, and ultimately broke up in 1996. Fifteen years later, they unexpectedly announced a reunion tour, inviting Meadows to follow them as they rehearse and perform around Europe before their major concerts back in Manchester. As he charts their sometimes rocky return, which includes a gig in Amsterdam that nearly derails the entire plan, Meadows reflects on the band’s history and impact on the music scene. Very much the work of a fan for other fans, Meadows’ film barely gets into the controversies or difficult personalities that one might expect from a conventional BEHIND THE MUSIC type of project. Instead it revels in the euphoria of audiences given the opportunity to experience performers that have meant a great deal to them – most effectively shown in an extended sequence about a last-minute surprise concert thrown for fans that is free upon the condition that attendees present some piece of memorabilia that demonstrates they’re fans – CDs, albums, concert t-shirts. Even viewers who aren’t Stone Roses diehards can appreciate what it means for these fans to see them live in concert once again.